Admission: Yes, I do revisit this series, captured by Sylbie Yon, that morning at Virginia’s (Yes, Virginia’s) Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia (2.5 hours west of Savannah and 1.5 hours east of Atlanta). I Love what I see, the serendipity of it all, and the bittersweet emotions triggered when butterflies evoke those evocative memories. Butterflies bear much emotion on their sylvan wings, and those of us who lost, and know the loss, sometimes connect extraordinary butterfly experiences with the warmth of loss. And tears well up, they do.
But that’s not why we’re here now. Of late, wingedbeauty.com has made new friends, some of them very enthusiastic, determined to photograph butterflies well, and share their hard earned success, as it comes. So we correspond via FB, and if I see the right opportunity, I might discuss with them strategies to employ, e.g. One of my favorites? Good images of horses, cats, birds, snakes, dogs, big cats, osprey, elephants always employ clear, comely views of the eyes. I urge the newbie to seek good eye capture as well as good wing share. Or, I’ve deduced that y’all honestly don’t want to look too long at the butt of a butterfly. You just don’t.
So here, let’s consider, Why do I dress as I do in the field?
Hat: I seek out green hats, for they don’t spook butterflies, resembling as they do the vast green of habitat. Turned around (brim to the back)? To not scare butterflies and to avoid producing shade.
Head Band: I sweat a lot in hot, humid locales, so the band captures the sweat before I am blinded by sweat salt. Band color? My preference is colors that do not startle or look so dramatically in contrast with habitat.
Shirt: These are green 100% cotton long sleeved shirts from LL Bean. They wash well, suit me in the heat, and the green seems to not startle butterflies.
Backpack: Coco locos for snack/survival, new/exposed film, miscellaneous bag, pouch for 2 water bottle, zipped side pocket for whistle (like your Phys Ed teacher had), another side zippered pocket for cell.
Jeans: Light blue if possible (to see ticks crawling on them) and thick enough to prevent insect abusers, and my jeans tucked into my socks. Don’t much care how that looks to yachters, jocks or Good ‘Ole Boys.
Socks: Frieda A”H was a very good shopper, and she once found me some 7 or 8 pairs of Gold Toe wool socks, reduced a lot, in Gabriel Bros (near Pittsburgh). They are still unbelievable.
Boots: My most recent are excellent, Merrell boots, lightweight, dry quickly (If only Merrell would get it right with lace length). Biters love striking at my ankles, and this reduces that threat, as well as assuring that a bite to the ankle would only have the belligerent eating boot, and not JLZ.
Kneepad: I always wear my Tommyco kneepad on my left knee. Kneeling to shoot butterflies often finds your knee in briar, rocky trail, serious vegetation, etc, and my trusty Tommyco makes the difference.
Miscellaneous: I do carry steel with me (2), they rooted in my youth on the streets, and those 2 80-pounders who menaced me back in Pennsylvania, and turned and left when I had the sun glint in their eyes from the impressive blade.
And finally: Smile. I try to smile a lot in the field, for often, a lot, I thank G-d for the opportunity to view and shoot such incredible beauty.